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Sahara Travel Forum Topics specific to North Africa and the Sahara down to the 17th parallel (excludes Morocco)
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Desert Travels - Motorcycle Journeys in the Sahara and West Africa!

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  #1  
Old 14 Jun 2003
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overland africa: sahara or east route

Hey folks'
Does anyone know which is the quickest and easiest route from europe (holland) to kenya.
I am driving a 2wd car.
cheers, Peter
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  #2  
Old 16 Jun 2003
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With a 2wd car your only option may be via Egypt - Sudan Ethiopia. Not sure about the Egyptian part, but the rest will be fine. I can assure you that you will not make it the other way around by 2wd car, or rather say, you can make it, but only with experience and time and lots of pushing and digging. No ways you will make Tchad Sudan by 2wd, coming from the East.

Sorry to put you off,

hed
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  #3  
Old 16 Jun 2003
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Do not fully agree with Hed, we always tend to forget that much of the Sahara was explored using off the street 2wd Fords in the thirties. On occasion I also had some fun in the deserts near Cairo with an ordinary rental Daihatsu.

Two things are absolutely necessary though - high ground clearance, and big wheels (in my opinion eg. a VW beetle can go practically anywhere in the Sahara), you will certainly not get too far with a modern low town car. What do you intend to drive ?

With a 2wd one tends to be more cautious, and tests the ground before going boldly forward, so the chances of getting stuck are not worse than with a 4wd where one drives confidently into the middle of the biggest mess. Recovery is more tricky with a 2wd though, once one is bogged down.

Depending on the season, the Sudan - Ethiopia stretch may prove to be more impassable than the desert bits.

However the above is true for a fully equipped desertworthy vehicle only, if you have a normal sedan, the quick and simple answer to your question is: by boat, from Rotterdam to Mombasa.


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Andras

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[This message has been edited by andrasz (edited 16 June 2003).]
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  #4  
Old 16 Jun 2003
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Quote:
Originally posted by andrasz:
Depending on the season, the Sudan - Ethiopia stretch may prove to be more impassable than the desert bits.
The Gedaref/Gallabat stretch is now an all-weather all smooth dirt road. We did the 150km in a bit more than 2 hours on heavily-loaded motorcycles about 3 weeks ago.

Some people described a 5 or 6 hours crossing in the dry season and 5 or 6 days in the wet. Apparently, it's going to be asphalt soon.

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  #5  
Old 16 Jun 2003
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Thanks info Pierre, that's a bit of good news, was not aware of it



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  #6  
Old 17 Jun 2003
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What about Ethiopia to Kenya guys....that would be hell in a 2wd!!!!
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  #7  
Old 18 Jun 2003
hed hed is offline
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Andrasz,

You are right, I know what you mean and agree with what you say about Volkswangen beetles. However, most of this applies to "just" sand. The strecht from El Fasher in Sudan to the beginning of the tarmace, south of Khartoum is extremely sandy and very deeply rutted by the souk trucks. I doubt whether any 4x4, except maybe a specialised vehicle would be able to make this. I agree with ground clearance and big wheels though. Even the southern route in Sudan, forget the place names is very sandy. I passed via El Fasher on a bike this past February and must say, that I think these routes were much worse than any I have seen elsewhere. The rest, i.e. all the way from Ethiopia down to Kenya is a piece of cake, nowhere you need 4x4, except maybe the BLue Nile Gorge, would be helpful, but not essential.

Bevan, no disrespect, but the Ethjiopia to Kenya direct stretch via Moyale is no problem. Only problem is corrugation, but that is as bad in a 4x4 as it is in a 2x4. The stretch Moyale to Isiolo I would do in any sedan, no problems.

Hope this helps,

hed
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  #8  
Old 18 Jun 2003
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Hed,

Yes I'm fully with you there. One further thought: On such absolutely dismal terrain, the 2wd actually has an advantage: being smaller and lighter - 15-20 strong lads can lift it up and put it on a truck platform



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  #9  
Old 23 Jun 2003
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Perhaps of interest/help:

www.brussels-capetown.com

Sam.
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  #10  
Old 24 Jun 2003
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The quickest way would probably be via Saudi - 3 day transit visa - ferry from Jeddah to Saukin (near Port Sudan), then Sudan - Ethiopia - Kenya. If you can get the visa, Saudi is supposed to be less hassle than Egypt, cheaper and the roads are brilliant in comparison. The ferry is probably a lot more reliable than trying to charter the barge to get the vehicle across from Egypt - Sudan.
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  #11  
Old 28 Jun 2003
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Hi Peter,
It would definitely have to be an eastern route (either Egypt or Saudi) as the western part of Sudan is too much for a 2x4 (in terms of necesarry ground-clearance) due to aforementioned deep truck ruts.

Best of luck,
Camiel

www.amsterdam2capetown.com

[This message has been edited by camiel (edited 27 June 2003).]
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